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Ideas and technique to help you promote and image radio

Mobile money and radio

Paym logo

In April a collection of UK banks launched¬†Paym, the country’s first mobile money service built on a collaboration between mainstream consumer banks.

It’s a relatively new concept in the UK and is designed to make payments between individuals and organisations a much more simple part of everyday life.

So far Paym seems pretty low key to me, especially compared to the mobile money services in Africa where I’m currently working.


The poster child of the global mobile money transfer business is MPesa, a service started in Kenya by Vodafone affiliate Safaricom back in 1998. It was inspired by the habit of local consumers to send mobile phone credits between each other in lieu of cash payments.

According to The Economist in Kenya alone MPesa was transfering the equivalent of 11% of the country’s annual GDP by 2010.¬†It built much of its success on word of mouth fuelled by, you guessed it, radio advertising.

Today mobile money is no longer limited to MPesa or indeed one network but in Africa the mobile operators firmly control it, not the banks, and they continue to use radio advertising to explain how it works and promote its benefits.

Given the new activity in mobile money in the UK I thought you might like to hear how one service from multinational operator Airtel is being advertised on the radio. This ad is from Sierra Leone.

It’s too early to say whether the UK’s Paym will achieve the same scale as some of the African mobile money services.

If that’s its ambition and it wants to integrate its use into the daily lives of millions of consumers Paym would do well to look again to Africa and consider promoting it with the medium that gets closer to the point of sale than any other.